Difference Between MD5 and SHA1

AlgorithmsComputer NetworkSafe & Security

Both MD5 and SHA1 are hashing algorithms. MD5 is simple and fast, but it does not provide good security. SHA1 is complex as compared to MD5 and it provides greater level of security.

Read through this article to find out more about these two hashing algorithms and how they are different from each other.

What is MD5?

MD stands for Message Digest. MD5 is a hashing algorithm that produces a 128-bit hash value.

  • Although MD5 was created with the intention of using it as a cryptographic hash function, it has been discovered to have several flaws. Yet, it is extensively used.

  • MD5 can be used to validate data integrity as a checksum, but only for inadvertent corruption. It may still be used for noncryptographic tasks, such as finding the partition for a certain key in a partitioned database.

  • MD5 digests are frequently used in the software industry to ensure that a transmitted file arrives in good condition. Item servers, for example, frequently give a pre-computed MD5 (also known as "md5sum") checksum for files, which a user may compare with the checksum of the downloaded file.

  • MD5 sum programs are provided in the distribution packages of most Unix-based operating systems; Windows users can use the inbuilt PowerShell function "Get-FileHash," install a Microsoft utility or utilize third-party software. This form of checksum is also used in Android ROMs.

  • If the attackers attempt to break a message that is encrypted with MD5, then they would have to perform 2128 operations. If the attackers require to look for two messages with identical message digest, then they would have to perform 264 operations.

What is SHA1?

SHA1 stands for Secure Hash Algorithm 1. It is a cryptographic hash function that takes an input and generates a message digest, which is a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value that is generally represented as a hexadecimal integer with 40 digits.

  • SHA1 is a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard that was created by the National Security Agency of the United States.

  • TLS, SSL, PGP, SSH, S/MIME, and IPSec are some examples of security applications and protocols that employ SHA1. Both MD5 and SHA1 have descended from MD4.

  • To understand the initial message, an attacker would have to perform 2160 operations. If the attackers require to look for two messages with identical message digest, then they would have to perform 280 operations. Hence, it is much more secure than MD5.

Since 2005, SHA1 has been regarded as insecure against well-funded adversaries. Many groups have urged its replacement as of 2010.

Difference between MD5 and SHA1

The following table highlights the important differences between MD5 and SHA1.

Key
MD5
SHA1
Supported Length
The message digest length in MD5 can be up to 128 bits.
The message digest length for SHA1 can be up to 160 bits.
Speed
MD5 is faster than SHA.
SHA is slower than MD5.
Complexity
MD5 is simple than SHA.
SHA is quite a complex algorithm as compared to MD5.
Security
MD5 provides poor security.
SHA provides balanced security.
Crack Code
If one needs to seek two messages having the same identical message digest, then they would have to perform 264 operations.
In this case, an attacker would have to perform 280 operations.

Conclusion

To conclude, MD5 generates a message digest of 128-bits, while SHA1 generates a message digest of 160-bit hash value. Hence, SHA1 is a relatively complex algorithm and provides better security than MD5.

raja
Updated on 29-Jun-2022 12:24:26

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